In the continuing saga of legal battles between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung relating to infringements of intellectual property rights, Apple came up trumps recently when it obtained injunctions on the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet computer and on its Galaxy Nexus smartphones. According to a report in the Korea Times, Samsung could lose over $200 million due to these injunctions depending on the time over which the injunctions remain effective. The two companies head for a trial on July 30. Key to the battle is Apple’s claim that Samsung `slavishly’’ copied the look and feel of iPhones and iPads in its Galaxy line of smartphones and touch-screen tablets. Samsung has countered with claims that Apple has violated its wireless patents.
The setbacks via the injunctions, and particularly the one relating to the Nexus, have caused serious concern in the Samsung + Google camp – it may be noted that the two companies have collaborated in a world-beating partnership that put Android based smartphones at the top of the mobile phones pecking order in market share.
No surprises, then, that Google and Samsung have come together in a show of united force against a common opponent, Apple, which is increasingly flexing its legal muscle in the patents space. Fed up with the wrangling, Samsung has, for the first time, confirmed that it is drawing support from Google. According to Samsung, the two companies have joined hands post the court injunctions. Google has reportedly also reached out to HTC, another company embroiled in a legal battle with Apple. The Android camp therefore appears to readying up for battle.
According to an insider quoted in the report, Samsung and Google plan to extract more royalties from Apple and the possibility of the legal drama culminating in a cross-licensing deal appears to be very likely.
Currently the legal advantage rests with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), though Samsung is in appeal.
In a separate development in China, Apple is to pay $60 million as a court-mediated settlement with Proview relating to a dispute to the iPad trade mark. Though Apple may have lost the court battle, it may actually have won the war, because it is now free to sell iPads and launch new models in China, a very important territory.
With Apple moving from legal strength to strength, it is no surprise that tech companies such as Samsung and Google are banding together.